The Kindness of Strangers – Day 10
by Jim Herbert
Thank you to a Stranger #10
For my first 24 years in Chicago I lived within a stone’s throw of the intersection of Roosevelt and Clark. When Christiana and I moved to the north edge of the city a year and a half ago it was very unsettling to me.
Over time I’ve come to appreciate the many beautiful places I have to enjoy in my north side home. I enjoy traveling on new streets that I have not explored before. I enjoy eating in restaurants. I love the park behind the house. The north side has truly become my home.
Of all the beautiful places in my neighborhood, I think my favorite might just be a sign on Foster Avenue near Ashland that simply says “You are Beautiful.” I’ve seen it a bunch of times, but yesterday when I saw it I wanted to know more.
Sure enough it is a global project started in Chicago by artist Matthew Hoffman. It’s an amazing story. He started with bumper stickers. He raised money to put up signs. He’s even been on Super Soul Sunday. You can read more about it if you like at youarebeautiful.com.
So thank you Matthew Hoffman for helping me love my new neighborhood even more and thank you for taking your vision and making it happen while at the same time making the world a better place. You may be a stranger now but I hope to meet you someday.
I’ve been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I’m hitting my stride. I’m also a budding speech writer. I’ve recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Website: http://www.emergingintojoy.com.